Italian Cream Cake (Plus Pie Variation)

Updated on December 6, 2019
crazyhorsesghost profile image

My late mother made the best Italian cream cake, and for many years I have worked hard to re-create her incredibly delectable recipe.

Italian cream cake is one of the most delicious cakes you will ever taste!
Italian cream cake is one of the most delicious cakes you will ever taste!

Italian Cream Cake

My late mother, Virginia Walker, made the best Italian cream cake. For many years, I have worked hard to re-create her incredibly delectable recipe. Although this cake requires a bit of time and care, even the novice baker will be rewarded if he or she simply slows down.

Contrary to what the name suggests, there's really nothing Italian about an Italian cream cake. The first mention of this cake appeared around 1909 in a newspaper in Mobile, Alabama, so most likely the cake wasn't invented in Italy but in the southern region of the United States.

You can go online and find many different recipes for this cake, but my recipe is oh so delicious, you really don't need to go elsewhere!

This recipe is quite versatile. If you are having a large party or gathering, consider making a large cake and surrounding it with a multitude of cupcakes made from the same batter. I've also used this recipe to make sheet cakes—and once I even made an enormous Italian cream wedding cake! It was a huge hit.



For the cake:

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh frozen coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose plain flour

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh frozen coconut, thawed to room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped walnuts


For the cake:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 cake pans with vegetable spray and line each pan with a cutout liner of baking parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add softened butter, shortening, and sugar. Mix together until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, baking soda/buttermilk mixture, vanilla extract, coconut, baking powder, and flour. Stir with a hand mixer until very well combined. Pour out batter into the prepared pans.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool slightly before you remove from the pans and carefully remove the baker's parchment paper.

Frosting the cake:

  1. In a large bowl, add frosting ingredients one at a time and beat with a hand mixer until well combined.
  2. When the cake layers have completely cooled, spread the frosting between and on top of the layers. Be sure that you allow your cake layers to cool thoroughly before applying the frosting, or it will not turn out right.

Decorating the cake:

Sometimes I toast coconut and pat it onto the outside of the frosting and sometimes I don't. Some people really like the toasted coconut on the cake and some people aren't big fans. Try it both ways and see how you like it. You can also add other decorations to the cake—dress it up however you like.

Baking Tips

  • In order for this cake to turn out right, your oven must cook at the right temperature. Investing in a high-quality oven thermometer is one of the best things a home baker can do to ensure success.
  • I recommend investing in high-quality cake pans, as this can make a big difference in how your cakes turn out.
  • Lining your cake pans with baking parchment paper that has been trimmed to fit the pans will help your cakes come out much more easily. Simply peel the parchment paper from the bottom of your cake layers once you have removed the cakes from the pans.

Italian cream cake
Italian cream cake

Variation: Italian Cream Pie

If you love Italian cream cake, how about trying an Italian cream pie? If you're looking for an extra special pie, this may be just the ticket.


For the filling:

  • 16 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup fresh thawed frozen coconut

For the pie crust:

  • 2 graham cracker pie crust shells, store-bought or homemade


  1. In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients with an electric hand mixer until they are well mixed.
  2. Divide the filling between your two graham cracker pie crusts and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  3. Make the topping: In a bowl, beat cream cheese and coconut until very well mixed. Spread the topping on both pies. Chill pies in the refrigerator before serving.
  4. Optional decoration: Toast coconut to go on top of your pies, if you wish.

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cupcakes

Please Comment!

If you make this cake, please tell us all about it in the comments section below. Or post any comments or questions you may have. Thank you!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Is coconut a must for this cake?

    • irenemaria profile image


      7 years ago from Sweden

      Saliva is running over my chin

    • IslandBites profile image


      7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Looks really nice.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      This looks delicious. I will be keeping this recipe and will have to pin it. I also voted up and shared.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      it really make me hungry..

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      Hi, thank you for sharing this one with us!! It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it out.

      I'll let you know how it turned out.

      Take care


    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      9 years ago from East Coast , United States

      I agree that Italian Cream Cake is one of the most delicious desserts in the world. If you have never tried it make this delicious cake and you just may be hooked for life.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Ohhhh! I want a piece right now. Great Hub.

    • irenemaria profile image


      9 years ago from Sweden

      Yummy hub! I think I gained weight only reading it and looking at the lovely photos!

    • ArtzGirl profile image

      Camaron Elliott 

      9 years ago from San Diego

      Yummy!!!! This looks fabulous! I really like your pics... !!!

      I haven't had a slice of Italian Cream Cake in years- you are making me hungry for one!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I will definitely be trying this recipe. I had the Italian Cream Cake a few years ago and have never forget how delicious it was. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Rated up, useful, and bookmarked.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)